Recommendation for Hot Smoker?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ckim44, May 18, 2013.

  1. Hi SMF!

    I am new to hot smoking and was wondering what everyone's opinion would be for my first smoker? I am looking to smoke all kinds of meat (pork, chicken, beef, fish) and I hear that one secret to a good smoke is consistent temps.

    I have bought an AMNPS for cold smoking raw salmon (mmmm) and was originally thinking of buying a large BGE for hot smoking.

    Does anyone recommend anything else or should I stick with the BGE?

    The one thing I dislike about the BGE is that it is very hard to transport (to bring during car camping or when I move to a new place)

    Thanks in advanced everyone!

  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If weight is the only drawback for portability of the BGE and you don't plan on having a multipurpose cooker for grilling, maybe go with a WSM...highly praised by those who use them, and far lighter than a ceramic rig. The WSM is not small,  so if size is a portability issue, maybe not such a good idea. As for a smoker to use when camping, you probably will be crowding things, so a more compact unit may be you best choice (having 2 smokers), and something that will handle a little bit of abuse, as it may get damaged during transport...not sure any of them will do any better than others in that department, but I wouldn't want to haul a $400-$800 smoker around for camping...just me. A Weber silver or gold kettle grill will do a nice job of grilling or smoking with a little fire-tending for longer indirect cooking, and there are some members who have used the minion method with their grills as well as their smokers...might be a good choice for a camp cooker.

  3. raymo76

    raymo76 Smoking Fanatic

    I have a Lang 36 patio, which works very well, it is known as a reverse flow offset smoker. I am currently really looking hard at Gator Pits which are a traditional flow offset smoker. Ritch's (Gator Pit) Party model looks like a good step up from my 36" Lang model. Another builder is Craig Bell who owns and operates Bell Fabrication Customs and from what I hear is prices are really competitively priced.

    Then there are backwoods smokers which are insulated vertical cookers. You also have various pellet cookers you can get into.

    Can't go wrong with starting out with a Weber Smokey Mountain though, and they're only around $300 I believe.

    Tons of info on smokers here just browse and use the search function and you will find a wealth of information on types and brands of smokers, what to try to avoid and how to make it better if you buy a lesser expensive smoker.
  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well, if you can(it broke mebut I have a nice Smoker),get a nice size one:

     great Party rig , both of them...

      can do soooo much and...

     it does a beautiful job.

     always tender and juicy

      and versitile too.

    I was told a long time ago, when you get a Smoker, get one size bigger than you need, you never know when a party presents itself?

    The babtsitting is the fun of it, teyy are NEVER for sale... I'm going to be Buried in mine[​IMG]  Sonny will have to get his own...
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    " I'm going to be Buried in mine[​IMG] Sonny will have to get his own..."

    ROFLMAO! You gonna be smoked or grilled?
  6. oh wow those pics look awesome!

    my mom just got back from her fishing vacation in BC and she told me she wants to bring the smoker with her on her fishing trips so I guess that rules the BGE out for now

    I'll take a look at the other ones that you guys mentioned!

    Thanks for everyones opinions!!
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    +1 WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain)

    Very easy to set up and use, and easy on the pocketbook as well. While still being good enough for some of the more advanced stuff as well - a WSM will make you the neighborhood rock star of BBQ!
  8. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Talking wood/charcoal cookers.... I would say ease of use and consistent temps go a pellet grill....not a big fan of offsets unless you have a quality grill like a Lang. 

    Vertical smokers can be incredibly efficient and would only consider a WSM or a UDS.  I'm partial to the UDS because you can cook w/ out a water pan directly over the fire for more flavors. If you go with a WSM or UDS i'm a big fan of automatic temp controllers like BBQ Gurus or Pitmaster IQ.

    This is what i have for UDS, has the additional benefit of smoking or grilling by adjusting the height of the charcoal basket. 

    I agree with forluv...i wouldn't take an expensive grill camping...that's what the small table top kettles are for. 
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2013
  9. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When they find me ,I'll be slumped over the Smoker . They'll only have to put my feet in and close the door. My whole Smoker goes with me to the Big Party in the Sky.

    God taught us to BBQ ,it's his turn to have some of the Best[​IMG].
  10. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ugly Drum Smoker, hands down!
  11. Allow me to recommend a WSM as well. Got mine a little over a year ago and haven't turned out a bad piece of meat yet. Very happy with the smoker and I think it is reasonably priced. You can chose either the 18.5" ($299, Amazon) or the 22.5" ($399) to fit your needs. I have cooked ribs, chicken, turkey and even a prime rib on mine.
  12. For your home smoker, you have several great options above and everyone will have their preferences.  Stick burner, gas, electric, BGE, WSM, Offset, ect., etc..  Each have their pros and cons.  Almost a personal thing.  What do intend to use it for?  Large parties, small family BBQ?  Mostly grilling or long slow and low?  Are you only going to smoke on Fridays or might you sneak in a Tuesday smoke? [​IMG]  The check list goes on and on.  If you check out what most members own you will find most own 3 or more.  I had 4, just sold 1 to pay for building another.  If I were to suggest an option I'd say do plenty of research and then build or have built a smoker to your exact specifications.  Only way to get exactly what you think you want.  But then after a year or so of using it you will start to modify and or rebuild even that smoker.  Hard to build one be all do all unit without certain modifications for each particular use.  Price may very well be the deciding factor in your final decision.  As for your camping option I do have a suggestion.  Check out  These have been made and used in Texas since 1923.  I have made this suggestion before and have been met with silence from the members .  I don't know why.  Trust me they are inexpensive, and when you receive your unit you will think you have made a terrible mistake because this cheap made piece of cr** can't last 2 uses.  I have used these for many years.  The one I am using now I shipped from Texas when I was home 8 years ago.  Shipping cost to England cost me more than the unit cost.  Since they are cheaply made they transport well.  If it gets dented just pop it back in shape.  One of our long time members just received one and he has seems to have nothing but praise for em.  I'll attach this thread but check out nepas threads for the other posts for these units.  When you check out his threads you will find nepas knows his stuff.  Hope this is some use. Just my 2 cents of course.  Good Luck.  Keep Smokin!
  13. Having said that mouthful, I think a UDS for home use is a GREAT place to start.  Somebody shut me up before I ramble on all night.  Where did I put my Jack Daniels flavored sleep inducing aid??  Strictly for medicinal use you understand.  [​IMG]Oh yes, Mrs KC is holding it in her hand; apparently it is time for my nap.  AGAIN!  [​IMG]She swears she is only looking out for my welfare. [​IMG]   Better check out that life insurance policy again.  Keep Smokin!

  14. I bought a vision kamado from Costco, it is similar to a bge and I love it. Not only does it make smoking an easy no hassle thing, but i can also grill at very high temps. This is not something to take with you on a camping trip. When I go camping a bring a small grill with me. Using the kamado is amazing, it really makes some of the best food I've ever cooked. I don't have to constantly tend to a fire, you can set it and forget it. I have cooked pork butts for 16 hours on one load of coal and not had to make any adjustments for temp control. I also had fuel left over. Really do some research and figure out what will be best for your uses. I can say since getting the kamado i use it 2-3 times a week minimum.

Share This Page